Santa swings through Eagle County over the holidays, thanks to local helpers
Thanks to some local dads from one Eagle neighborhood, hundreds of kids from up and down the valley will end 2020 with one less disappointment.
“We all have young kids, and it’s hard this time of year when kids can’t go see Santa,” said Blake Gould, a resident of The Orchards in Eagle, noticing a difficult trend for many parents this year due to COVID-19.
Fellow Orchards resident Jim Krzyzaniak had the idea to bring Santa safely to the streets of the neighborhood — he has a connection with the ol’ Kris Kringle — but Krzyzaniak needed some help from his neighbors. With Gould’s truck, Chad Roberts’ tree and lights as well as Taylor Walker’s cables and electrical skills, Gould called in a favor from his friend Adam Clark, who provided the trailer for Santa to ride on.
After about a week of production, Santa paraded through the 56-home Orchards neighborhood on Saturday, waving to children as well as accepting letters written to Santa Claus in a box on the side of the trailer. After that, Santa’s local helpers took Santa through the neighboring Brush Creek townhomes.
“The whole reason for it was just to bring joy to kids and families in this tough year where kids can’t go sit on Santa’s lap, families have been struggling and Christmas isn’t going to be the same,” Gould said, adding that Krzyzaniak was the mastermind behind it all. “It’s just that little bit of joy knowing that the magic of Santa exists and keeping that belief alive in kids.”
The word got out quick that Santa was in town, and many families were sad to have missed out. So the five fathers planned another parade the following day through Eagle Ranch, with families from up and down the valley inquiring for more details on how to attend.
“We all just came together to pull this off for the kiddos,” Gould said of the special occasion. “And the happiness it brought people was unreal.”
Gould estimates about 300 children got a look at Santa over the weekend across the neighborhoods — thanks to five dads who helped keep the magic alive.
“Hopefully it will be different next year, but we still think it’s a cool thing to do here in the neighborhoods,” he said.
Santa swings through Gypsum
While Santa was in Eagle over the weekend, he showed up in Gypsum on Tuesday.
The Gypsum Fire Protection District picked him up and paraded him through local neighborhoods on top of a fire truck in a multi-vehicle parade. With so many children to see — Santa was stopping in eight neighborhoods — there wasn’t time to sit on his lap, but Santa did spread holiday cheer.
“At least they get to wave at Santa, and know he’s out there,” Gypsum Fire Protection District Fire Chief Justin Kirkland said of the first-year event.
Santa waved from the top of a fire truck, decked out in holiday lights, and following behind the station’s new fire truck.
Thanks to some of Santa’s local helpers, the magic of the holiday season is alive and well in Eagle County.
Assistant Editor Ross Leonhart can be reached at 970-748-2984 and firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Instagram at colorado_livin_on_the_hill.
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